School slammed in charity shave row

Chloe Newton and her mum Donna
Chloe Newton and her mum Donna
Share this article

AN angry parent has slammed a Wigan secondary school for refusing to allow her teenage daughter to shave her head for charity.

Chloe Newton, who attends St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School in Ashton, wanted to have her locks cut off to help raise money for Willowbrook Hospice, which cares for people with terminal illnesses.

The 14-year-old was determined to raise money for the charity in the last couple of weeks of the school year, inspired by the memories of several family friends who had passed away.

However, her fund-raising challenge was thrown into disarray after the school said she would be excluded if she cut her hair, a decision her mum Donna branded “disgusting”.

Donna, from Haydock, said: “It has really upset me. The school are not prepared to support her and wouldn’t listen to any of the reasons I gave, they just didn’t want to know.

“They said if she came in with her head shaved she would be put in isolation for the rest of the day and then wouldn’t be able to come to school for the rest of the term.

“It’s not an easy decision for me to let her do it but she really wants to do something for charity and be proud of it.

“It upsets me because people have already given us sponsorship money and I can’t let them down. I think it’s disgusting they’re not prepared to support her to raise money for charity.”

Chloe has arranged to have her hair cut at a salon in Ashton at the end of June, and has already taken pledges from local busineses and neighbours as well as school friends through Facebook. A local bank branch has also agreed to double her final total.

Chloe and Donna have both taken part in fund-raising activities for charity before, taking part in walks for Willowbrook Hospice and supporting St Edmund Arrowsmith’s own efforts on behalf of good causes.

Donna said: “People are dying from cancer every minute and the care at Willowbrook is excellent. Every penny counts because they do a phenomenal job.”

However, the school has defended its decision, saying it was unable to make exceptions to its rules on hair cuts and personal appearance.

A statement read: “We have already refused a request from another pupil to have their head shaved in term time. This was in aid of a local charity.

“A further request was made for a pupil to have her head shaved for charity. To be consistent we have declined this request in term time.”